Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cardiac Caps outlast Boston for an OT win

The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins are evenly matched teams.  Most of their games are close games and they frequently go to overtime, just like yesterday.  I'm tense watching because an untimely penalty or a giveaway to Marc Savard may mean the Caps lose But, they prevailed 4-3 although Boston also got a point.

The Caps had 1 penalty in the first period, none in the second period and then fell apart with three penalties in the third period with the score tied.  Not the time to start playing undisciplined hockey.  Boston, Zdeno Chara to be specific, scored on the last penalty.  You can't give this team too many man advantage opportunities.  The Caps were only in the penalty box 4 times last night which is great for them, but to have 3 of those come in the 3rd period is not good.  There were also a number of non-calls made by the refs which was an irritating part of watching the game.

I'm sure Boston net minder Tim Thomas wishes he had two goals back from the Caps because, on most days, I think Thomas would have had both of them.  The Caps third goal came courtesy of Tomas Fleischmann's goal off of Dennis Wideman's skate.  This happened to the Caps against Boston off of Milan Jurcina's skate.  The overtime game winner came courtesy of Alexander Semin's 80 foot puck toss.  Semin was hungry for scoring yesterday. You could see it in his face, at times.

Nicklas Backstrom's goal from Semin and Mike Green caught Thomas on the wrong side of the net.  Backstrom's on an 8 game scoring streak, his personal best a 9 game streak, happened earlier this season. He is one helluva of a hockey player and I think he flies way under the radar screen of the NHL.  Backstrom's game has developed significantly this season even though he started out slow.  He's a strong puck handler and is tough to get off the puck. He battles hard against the boards and wins more than he loses.  He's a consistent point scorer and his passes are beautiful.  His vision on the ice is spectacular, too.  His faceoffs are his weak point as evidenced by yesterday's 33% win percentage on 15 tries.  I have faith he'll improve there. He's +14 so he's defensively responsible although he has room for improvement there, too.  He is in his 2nd season so I can't wait to watch him become even better.

Jose Theodore made some spectacular saves and survived some serious flurries of activity in front of the net but should have saved the shot from Chara that forced the game to go into overtime.

The Florida Panthers come into town this afternoon.  Can I just say that I'm sick of having to be around to watch so many day games.  It makes it tough to get things done on the weekend.

Let's go Caps!

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